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This Sunday morning I was elated to see a beautiful essay by the abundantly generous Maria Popova (founder of Brainpickings), exploring dana. In the Art-of-Not-Having-to-Ask, from Buddhist Monks to Amanda Palmer by way of Thoreau, Popova covers much of how the core of my “work” in this world came to be rooted in the principle of dana.

Creating and working on dana is *not* pro bono, or charity, or pay-what-you-can, or even pay-it-forward! (Seen one way, it is as “free market” as it gets. Smile.) In its most subtle and sophisticated form — not touched upon in this beautiful essay or anywhere else that I have seen so far — dana is ultimately not even an exchange. It is the generation of TWO different cycles. Such that one person freely gives just to give and the other freely receives just to receive, completing a giving–receiving cycle, and the second person also freely gives just to give and the first person freely receives just to receive, completing another giving–receiving cycle. (more…)

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One of the key aspects of the creative feminine principle – creative stillness – is the ability to discern the difference between free will and flow. (Putting free will into creative action is the masculine principle’s job.) I find this to be a significant challenge and a pretty important discernment to develop in order to manifest outcomes with ease, and in harmony with the world.

We all have free will, and most of us know and recognize it. It is an important aspect of our creative existence; we use it to choose and take action all the time, to create outcomes in certain directions over others, and so on. (more…)

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This morning I awoke promptly at 6:30am to attend “Thanksgiving Day Yoga” at my good friend Scott’s inspiring Be Luminous Studio, and my morning started with the following words from my favorite business and marketing mind Seth Godin (mind you, I said business and marketing mind!):

“… A modern Thanksgiving would celebrate two things:

The people in our lives who give us the support and love we need to make a difference, and…

The opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves, something worth contributing. The ability to make connections, to lend a hand, to invent and create.”

(more…)

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The third issue of Courageous Creativity is out. Featuring creative perspectives from an independent life coach, a licensed therapist, a social worker, a public-heath professional, a budding photographer, and an architect / artist. Post your responses on the Flying Chickadee Facebook Page!

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In a recent exchange with two close friends after a late-evening music-practice session, I said something about needing a solid night’s rest these days because of how full my time is … without a single purposeless moment (well, almost). Before I could quite finish my thought, one of them jumped to challenge me: “Then how is that different from the rat-race of the cubicle-land, where people complain about not having a moment to themselves?” he demanded.

I was on my way out the door (and on to bed), so we didn’t finish the conversation. I only had enough time to offer, “It’s different.” But his question did stop me to reflect. How indeed is my time these days different from time spent in a rat-race? (more…)

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[Adaptated into an essay in my book Thrive! Falling in Love with Life, published Nov 1, 2011.]

Our culture emphasizes having options. We interview in multiple places so that we have options for a place of employment; we interview several candidates for a job to find the right fit with a position. We meet different people for an ideal romantic partner; we scan various people for the best business partner. And we nurture various, sometimes mundane social relationships “just in case” we’re excluded from the in-crowd.

We are advised not to burn bridges, not to close doors. So, there’s an ingrained tendency to keep various doors open, even though one is presumably focused on a particular, well-chosen path. Especially as an entrepreneur, this might seem like an appropriate and sensible measure: should this idea or initiative not take off, surely I should have another from my wellspring of ideas ready to test and launch? Isn’t that what entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation are about – trying out idea after idea, and always having lots of ideas available? (more…)

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Recently, a particular distinction – which may at first seem like just a nuance – has been surfacing repeatedly in my awareness. I’ve been discerning and acknowledging the difference between sharing and commiserating. And I’m seeing this distinction as really significant and powerful in all contexts – whether in business, personal life, politics, communities, or a spiritual path.

Sharing is a necessary and enriching aspect of human connection. When we share of ourselves, such self-disclosure makes us open and vulnerable to others. We can intentionally give and receive energy, which can be healing, energizing, inspiring and creative. Sharing provides the mental, emotional and spiritual connections that facilitate breakthroughs and transformations. Sharing builds. Sharing is fundamentally rooted in a belief of abundance: as they said in ancient India, knowledge and love increase with sharing. (more…)

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